Given the discussion that's been going around, I thought Rachelle Gardner had a lovely guest post about being kinder to yourself as a writer. Go check it out.
Another discussion going around is the one over at the Literary Lab about what makes a good story and the need for a good idea to do so.
Writing is a long haul exercise. A long term investment of yourself in words and craft even if you write short stories or flash fiction. And over the long haul, a story will take on a life of its own. Plot affects characters; how characters react drives plot.
What I think is imperative here, what needs to be present for the story to work, is honesty. And respect. For your craft, your words, your characters, your story, your readers.
For your good idea. Wherever that idea takes you.
And after all that pontificating by me, here's two hundred words of flash fiction.
She shivers hard, wraps her arms around her middle.
It doesn’t help.
She kicks out her legs; stares at the tiny, bare feet in front of her.
The door cracks open. She drops her feet.
The gap widens; she’s not alone in the room anymore.
He drops onto the stool, rolls to the desk.
“Are you sure this is what you want?”
If there’s anything she’s sure of in this life, it’s that she doesn’t want this.
“I’m nobody’s mother.”
“A simple yes or no will do.”
There’s no room in her life for this.
A long forefinger taps the file; he doesn’t bother looking at her. “The father isn’t…”
“Relevant.” Her eyes are as flat as her voice.
“Should he be?”
“Does he know?”
A glass-edged smile slashes her lips. “Does he care?”
No, he doesn’t. And she doesn’t need what he hasn’t got; doesn’t need the weight of his disinterest or pity.
She doesn’t need anything small and needy weighing her down.
“You shouldn’t be alone.”
“I’m not alone, my…friend is waiting.”
“Do you have any questions?”
“Can we just get this over with?”
He pushes back, leverages himself to his feet. “I’ll get my assistant.”